Learning the Ropes of Advocacy in the Nation’s Capital

There’s no better place to brush up on the ins and outs of grassroots advocacy than the nation’s capital.

Hosted by The Arc and five other disability organizations each spring, The Disability Policy Seminar brings together a diverse and passionate audience with a shared purpose. People with disabilities, experts, professionals, and families from across the country converge on Washington, DC to learn about key issues affecting the disability community and cultivate champions on Capitol Hill.

This year, nearly 1,000 attendees—the highest attendance ever—and over 40 speakers spent the event getting the latest information on what lawmakers intend to do to the Affordable Care Act and the Medicaid program, both of which are vital to people with disabilities, and networking with other advocates. The program also touched on topics related to employment, education, coalition building, and more.  The timing of this year’s event coincided with a scheduled vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a piece of legislation that aimed to repeal the Affordable Care Act and decimate Medicaid with nearly a trillion dollars in cuts.

Featured speakers included Wade Henderson, President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and Candace Gingrich, Associate Director of the Youth and Campus Engagement Program at the Human Rights Campaign.

In addition to scheduled vote on the AHCA, this year was particularly significant given the new Presidential Administration, new Members of Congress, and new opportunities to build relationships.  Attendees had the chance to do just that, as the event culminates by converging on Capitol Hill to speak directly to elected officials about high-priority issues. This year’s Hill day included health care rallies and speeches by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, former Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, and more. By the end of the week, the AHCA was pulled from a vote, but the policy ideas behind the legislation remain on the table and so do the threats to access to health care and supports and services for people with disabilities.

There’s no better opportunity to hone your policy knowledge and return to your hometown feeling energized and ready to keep the pressure on Washington year-round!

We hope you’ll make plans to join us at our 2018 Disability Policy Seminar:

April 23-25, 2018

The Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel

999 Ninth Street, NW

Washington, DC 20001


Want to stay up-to-date on breaking disability policy? Sign up for The Arc’s action alerts at thearc.org/joinourfight.

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